Dungeons & Dragons: Horse God (God[s] of Horses?)

Been a very long time since I’ve played, but does anyone recall if there was/were Horse Gods? Gods of Horses?

It came up in a strange discussion at work.

Yes or at least maybe. AD&D dieties and demigods include the Greek pantheon but I don’t know if epona was specifically listed. I’d have to check a copy.

I can think of a couple of deities that have unicorns as their symbols and would appear as them (I had a Ranger in 2E Forgotten Realms that followed one) but I can’t think of one that is for horses specifically.

The Greek God Poseidon, was God of the Seas.
AND horses.
Go figure.

I found several deities affiliated with pegasi or centaurs or unicorns, but none specifically related to normal horses.

There are definitely plenty of real-world deities who were associated with them.

If you want a real world god of horses I think this is my recommendation:

She was almost exclusively and was primarily the goddess of horses and similar animals (donkeys, ponies, mules). She was a bit of a fertility goddess too but horses were her prime gig. Even her name was evocative of horses.

I just don’t recall any created for any D&D realms that I can remember.

In Greek mythology Poseidon created horses. Which is why Poseidon suggested the Trojan horse to Ulysses.
I 'm guessing that Tolkien wasn’t the first person to equate whitecaps with horses.

Besparr has a few references online as a Forgotten Realms horse demigod.

Earthquakes, too.

If you were playing in Middle-Earth it would be Nahar. He was the horse of Oromë the Huntsman of the Valor. From Nahar was descended Felaróf from whom Shadowfax descended.

In actually 1st Ed there was of course all those different Pantheons and included I believe Epona a horse goddess and I know it included Poseidon who was the Greek God of Horses besides the Sea. In fact he fathered Pegasus in some legends. The Greeks had a selection of immortal/divine horses throughout their legends.

Finally in either D&D’s Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes, or Deities and Demigods there was mention of arch-types for animals. I would have to go digging for details, but I know it inspired me to include such in my worlds.

If it was Deities & Demigods I suspect the mention was in either Melnibonéan or Nehwonian mythologies.

I’ll do more digging if interested, I still have both.

At one point (possibly still) D&D had Animal Lords, who were sort of the “King” of their type of animal, and could take human form. Might have been a Greyhawk-specific thing. They weren’t deities, though, more like a fey nobility.

That might be what I’m thinking of. I would have to go digging.

The Welsh version of Epona is Rhiannon and the Irish version is Macha.

So, home, copy of Legends and Lore in hand (my wife’s, my copy of Dieties and Demigods had fallen apart and I had forgotten), while Poseidon is listed, horses weren’t listed as part of his portfolio, although I know it is mythologically. Epona isn’t listed, so that’s out, but would be valid as I said in # 2.

Sleipner is listed, but not with Greater / Lesser / Demigod status, so I don’t think would count despite his parentage. Following up on @What_Exit 's description in the Nehwon mythos though, they DO list the Cults of the Beast, in which there are 13 perfect specimens of each of the animal creatures of the world - fully intelligent and role models for all members of the species. They are indeed worshipped by some mortals, but they do not have any information beyond that.

Not only was Epona in 2nd Ed’s Planescape setting, she had associated creatures with a horrible punning name that were basically My Little Pony expies:

Thank you. I’m sure that is what I’m remembering from 35 years ago.

WTF really?

I’m embarrassed because I actually ran a 2E Planescape campaign once and I didn’t remember that. (I used to own the boxed campaign set but eventually gave it away to a friend.)

…In my defense it was over 25 years ago…

No problem. I was dwelling on it all day and wanted to answer my own questions, so we all win.

There was also a mention of Grayhawk adventures, so I dug up my copy of that manual (which was bridging the gap between 1st and 2nd edition) to confirm that while Ehlonna had ‘special power over horses’ (or unicorns in her elven guise) her actual portfolio was Forests, Woodlands, Flora, Fauna, and Fertility. So again, associated with horses, but not OF horses.

There was also a Cat Lord, a Horse Lord, etc, the Horse of all Horses, a quasi deity.

Only in side mentions, like that “Nice Pony” entry, I don’t think there was ever a stat block or anything. Tir Na Og [sic] in the Outlands is the home of the Celtic pantheon.